Wednesday, March 8, 2023

SiriusXM's 'Auto Trends' Honors Women's History Month Highlighting Diversity And Equity Advocates

As we honor Women’s History Month, Auto Trends with highlights Kathy Gilbert and Cheryl Thompson. Both have blazed phenomenal trails while being recognized as champions of diversity in the automotive industry.

According to a 2022 article by CNBC, women currently control approximately $10 trillion in U.S. financial assets. However, when analyzing the automotive industry, this group has been underrepresented historically.

The latest stats by reveal that women only hold 26 percent of the jobs in the motor vehicle manufacturing field despite accounting for between 40 to 51 percent of registered new vehicle sales when based on ethnicity and traditional household data, according to S & P Global Mobility.

Moreover, regarding having equity in new vehicle franchises, women only represent 7 percent of the new car dealership owners based on the latest dealer data. And when zeroing in on women at the helm of major automakers, Mary Barra has been the lone voice since her appointment in 2014 as the CEO of General Motors.

To aid the industry in creating more Barra’s while also reflecting the buying power of women, both Gilbert and Thompson have embraced the role of diversity advocate while designing a blueprint for future generations of women and minorities seeking to stamp their contributions in the automotive industry.


Kathy Gilbert 

Show 1 - Airing Saturday, March 11 thru Thursday, March 16 

Show 2 - Airing Saturday, March 25 thru Thursday, March 30

Kathy Gilbert has fought tirelessly to pave the way for minorities throughout her 25-plus years in the domain. Gilbert, who was recognized as a Champion of Diversity by Automotive News, is the Senior Director of Minority Dealer Women Retail at CDK Global, one of the leading retail technology and software service solutions providers for dealers and auto manufacturers. 

In 2016 she was also recognized by the National Association of Minority Auto Dealers (NAMAD) as their woman of the year for her contributions in the automotive lane. In the first of our two-part discussion, Gilbert talks about her immersion into the automotive specialization and the goals she continues to set to influence minorities navigating the road of entrepreneurship. And then, she talks about the latest study CDK Global has prepared related to electric vehicle buyers.


Cheryl Thompson 

Show 1 - Airing Saturday, March 18 thru Thursday, March 23

Show 2 - Airing Saturday, March 25 thru Thursday, March 30

As a recipient of the Ford Motor Company Diversity and Inclusion Award in 2015, Cheryl Thompson continues to work diligently to decrease workplace inequalities in the automotive industry. Thompson founded the Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement (CADIA) in 2017. Thompson pivoted to become a diversity advocate following a 31-year tenure in manufacturing and engineering at Ford Motor Company. Often overlooked in her field, Thompson quickly began to sympathize with the challenges not only of stagnating women but all minorities. 

In a two-part conversation, Thompson highlights the pivotal life experiences that started her engine to becoming a diversity and inclusion advocate.

With no intentions of slowing down, these influencers are still racking the miles up on the odometer, pushing the pedal to the medal.

To Tune In

To tune in to the program on both FM radio outlets, the internet and SiriusXM, click here. 

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